I used to think that missions were a thing for Super-Christians. i.e., being engaged in missions would earn someone extra points from Jesus but it certainly wasn’t for everyone but now I have been able to understand it better that Missions matters to every Christian because it is at the very core of what it means to be a Christian. “Missions” is one of those words that we toss around a lot in the Christian world but it is not always clear what we mean by it. Missions mean being sent by God into a specific place in order to partner with God to expand His Kingdom. Therefore, the question we should ask isn’t “Is God calling me into missions?” but rather, “Where is God sending me to be part of building His Kingdom?” All of us have been called to participate in Missions because missions are inextricably inter-twinned with our identity as Christians and so the question, we should ask ourselves is “Where?” and “How?”
In the Old Testament, God sent deliverers such as judges, kings, prophets, and priests specifically to the people of Israel. When God first called Abraham, he told him that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:3). God told Israelites in the wilderness that their obedience to God’s laws would be a testimony to the nations of God’s greatness (Deut. 4:6-8). David urged, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvellous works among all the people (1Chron. 16:24, Psalm 96:3). Isaiah sees a nation becoming “a light for the nations,” so that “salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Micah foresaw a day when many nations desire to come to Zion to learn God’s ways (Micah 4:2). But the Israelites were not entirely open to the idea of God extending His grace to Gentiles, as the attitude of Jonah shows (Jonah 4). Mission to them generally meant just serving their own fellow people.
In the New Testament, the blessing of God truly overflows to the nations. The New Testament focus on mission consistently includes all the world rather than only one community. Jesus sent his disciples into the world just as he had been sent by God (John 17:18, 20:21). Thereafter we see the commissioning for all the believers to do missions (Acts 1:8). Believers are now the salt and the light of the world (Matt. 5:13-16).
Missions are now not by specialists such as prophets and priests but a joyful responsibility for all the believers. All of us have been called in the venture of The Great Commission as mentioned in the Gospels (Matt 28:18-20, Luke 24:45-59, John 17:18, 20:21) and in Acts 10:42. We have been called to the whole world friends, only that we need to seek God specifically to know where He is calling us because all of us cannot go to the same place.
Here are a few ways to be involved in God’s Mission:
You may choose to commit yourself to corporate and personal prayer for those who have given themselves fully to missionary work. A biblical example of this is the church in Antioch that committed to prayer and fasting and God set apart Paul and Barnabas to take the Gospel to the Gentiles. In the same way, we can devote ourselves in praying that God will also raise men and women to be involved in the Great Commission to the far places where we cannot reach ourselves.
- Giving Financially or Supporting Those on The Mission Grounds Financially:
One of the most practical ways to get involved in missionary is through giving our finances. God has blessed us with financial resources that when stewarded well and given wisely can help fuel disciple-making and church planting around the world.
You may choose to support a missionary or a mission agency with a monthly pledge. This is because missionaries on the ground need financial support and when you support them you partner in the gospel work indirectly.
God could be calling you personally to be involved in missionary work for His glory. God may actually mess up some of your plans in the most amazing way possible so that you listen to Him and go! If God is saying go, then be willing and obedient to leave and go. You can also choose to become a “tent-maker” ie using your own professional skills to gain access to another country. Be involved in short term missions and evangelism your local church offers.
While methods and strategies may vary, the timeless call of God to His people to bring His saving message to a lost and dying world does not vary. We MUST, therefore, press on to this vital mission f bringing the mercy of God to the world, the most crucial aspect of which is bringing the greatest news the world has ever known; the gospel of Christ to the ends of the earth- for the joy the church, salvation of nations and for the Glory of God. Therefore, The Great Commission is not Optional, it is a COMAND. God has been calling and He is still calling people to partner with Him as He brings people to Himself. Will you be available for this noble task?
Florence Mwende has written this article. Mwende is the Project Manager placed in Northern Kenya and helping in project Management.